Hiking Etiquette 101: The 12 Trail Rules You Should Know

There are not many rules of etiquette that stretch across the world, but hiking etiquette is one of them. No matter where you are, people tend to abide by the same hiking rules, keeping the peace and helping everyone around them to stay safe. Of course, you might not always meet other people on your treks, but when you do it is important to know what to do and how to...

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Discover Oklahoma: State parks offer trails for outdoor exploration

Autumn weather just gets us stirring around, doesn’t it? Perhaps it all originates with that preparation for the change of season. Various creatures such as squirrels start packing away supplies for the winter, but we humans may be seeking a little food for the soul as we can see the gray winter days that will keep us housebound coming straight at us. The timing...

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Why it’s a real mistake to count on a cellphone when you go hiking

Sarah Savage was alone in the woods and didn’t know which way to turn. She had been eager to explore the Appalachian Trail when she moved to Pennsylvania and discovered that her house was near an access point. But not long after she took off from the trailhead, the path branched in different directions. She wasn’t carrying a cellphone or a map. Nervous, she turned back....

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Conserving Carolina’s Fall Hiking Series Begins September 22, 2017

Join Conserving Carolina, formerly the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this fall. Conserving Carolina invites the community to enjoy the work that many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of areas of natural resources and take in the beauty of...

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The Mark Twain Trail through Nevada & California brings ups, downs and a new view of the author

Who flies to Reno on a spring evening, rents a car and heads into the mountains with no skis, no mountain bike and a backpack full of books? and Why? Because in 1861 a 25-year-old Missouri riverboat pilot named Sam Clemens boarded a stagecoach bound for the same territory. He was going to dodge the Civil War for a few months, work for the government, do some writing,...

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130 Miles, 8 Days, 1 Spellbound Hiker/Photographer on Kodiak Island

Kodiak Island, the second largest in the United States, is best known for the main quarry of this trip, the oversized subspecies of brown bear, the Kodiak bear, that is unique to its mountains and shorelines. This journey goes 130 miles along the notoriously rough shoreline of Shelikof Strait, across river drainages and bays, paddling packrafts through a series of lakes...

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Columbia Gorge trails might be closed until spring

Hiking trails affected by an Oregon wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge might be closed for months, authorities have said. Landslide risk, potential for falling trees, root snags and severe erosion as the winter rains start will have repair crews busy until spring, Dawn Stender, a trail crew supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area said. The fire in...

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North Carolinians Team up to Complete MST Hike in One Day

Over 1,600 North Carolinians collaborated on September 9, 2017 to complete in one day 100% of the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea hiking trail from the Smokies to the Outer Banks.    Most hiking legs were 3-5 miles long, although one hiker went over 20 miles. Officials with the American Hiking Society said the “one-day” hike was probably the first such event ever among...

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Taking in the White Mountains, every step of each trail

In 1907, the Appalachian Mountain Club published a little book called “Guide to the Paths and Camps in the White Mountains.” As its rather wordy title made clear, it was a collection of maps and descriptions of trails through the Presidential Range and beyond. Through printing after printing, the book changed titles — the 30th edition of what is now known simply as the...

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The Layering Equation: Dressing for Winter Comfort

Calculating how to layer on clothing for maximum comfort while venturing outside can be a tricky equation. There are lots of variables, like unknown or changing weather conditions and activity levels that can range on a given day from strenuous boot-packing or snowshoeing to long sedentary chairlift rides or winter camping. Everybody’s different, too, with different...

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A free series of fall foliage hikes is planned across New Hampshire in the coming weeks

Following the leaves as they turn color from north to south in New Hampshire, the Five Easy Hikes series will catch the early reds of turning maples in Bethlehem, take in a full-moon hike near Lake Sunapee, catch the breathtaking views over Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton, explore a less-traveled trail on Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey and end with a pre-Halloween visit to a...

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China’s Mars will feature zero gravity, hiking trails and an amusement park

The space race just got closer to home. China recently unveiled plans to recreate Mars in a 35,000 square mile region of Tibet. The $61 million project is expected to be both a tourist destination and training grounds for future astronauts. Located near the westernmost tip of the Great Wall, the replica will be built in Qinghai province, an arid, rocky stretch of desert...

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National Public Lands Day 2017—less than four weeks away

NEEF’s 24th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is just a few weeks away. Where will you be on September 30, 2017 when hundreds of thousands of people join in the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands? Take a moment to check out NPLD events in your area and register your event today. Whether you are interested in learning about...

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Conquering the Florida Trail in a skirt

Out on the trail, hiker Gretchen Matt is known as “Dirty Bowl.” It’s a long-standing tradition among serious hikers to adopt a nickname. (Matt’s harkens back to her days as an Outward Bound instructor who was lackadaisical about cleanliness.) And Matt is a serious hiker. In her 28 years she has completed two of the most intimidating and respected...

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It’s Almost Time for Mountains to Sea Trail In a Day

There will be boots and boats on all 1,175 miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on September 9, 2017, from Clingmans Dome atop the Smokies to Jockeys Ridge on the coast. What a great way to celebrate the day 40 years ago when Howard Lee, N.C. Secretary of Natural Resources at the time, first proposed the idea of a statewide trail. As time neared filling all 300 legs of...

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Looking Back at the History of Hiking in America

“Why would anyone enjoy deliberately walking around in nature?” is an initial question. As a longtime junior high school teacher, it was a challenge to bring 14-year-olds to a mental place where they could appreciate “just walking” around in the backcountry. At first, many wanted to keep riding in cars, skateboarding or at least biking — hiking was rather stupid. Hiking,...

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Stewards needed to keep hiking trails clear after monsoon storms

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation needs help maintaining hiking trails near Tucson. Monsoon 2017 has let up for now, but just weeks ago storms dumped lots of rain on southern Arizona. All that rain caused weeds and other plants to grow out of control. County officials are looking for trail stewards to make sure these trails continue looking good....

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Night hiking: Beating the heat in Grand Canyon

Below the Tapeats on the South Kaibab Trail is a great place to stop and rest called “Big Shady.” When it is hot, this spot is nice and cool. But folks are here huddled up above the trail in the shelter of a slight overhang in the cliff, trying to stay dry and wishing that there weren’t so many clouds in the sky. Rather odd given that it is the middle of August. But it...

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10 Exercises That Will Get You Ready For Any Hike

Preparing your body for a hike is often overshadowed by other hiking preparations, such as what gear to bring, which trail to take, and whether you have the right hiking shoes. As important as these preparations are, it is equally important to prepare your body for hiking by strengthening your muscles, increasing your cardiovascular capacity, and improving flexibility....

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Greece Beyond the Beaches: The Undiscovered Epirus

Epirus is on the northwest side of the Greek mainland. Multicolored concrete culture in Athens switches into green-blue stone villages, ancient arched bridges, ramshackle castles, quiet mountains topped with snow, and clear river gorges. It’s pretty rugged and was not easily accessible for many years (even now, the only way to reach it is by bus or car.) In Epirus you’ll...

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Canada’s ‘Great Trail’ Is Finally Connected

In 1992, three Canadians, inspired by their country’s 125th birthday celebration, thought up a crazy plan. What if they could connect all of Canada’s hiking trails, footpaths, rail trails, and boardwalks into one giant mega-trail that snaked from coast to coast? It’s now 2017. Canada has celebrated its 150th birthday. And on August 26th, those three dreamers—along with...

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Yosemite fires shut Glacier Point Road, road to park entrance and popular hiking trails

Should you be traveling to Yosemite National Park for the Labor Day weekend, be prepared for smoky conditions and trail and road closures. Separate fires have shut Glacier Point Road, California Highway 41 leading from Oakhurst to the southern entrance into the park, a campground and popular hiking trails. Yosemite’s website warns visitors about smoke conditions in...

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The 650-Mile Alabama Trail: Coming Soon to a Town Near You

In 2001, a small group of avid hikers met at the Open Pond Campground in Conecuh National Forest near Andalusia, Alabama. They had with them a state roadmap that they had picked up at an aging rest area along an interstate. Using an orange magic marker, they began to carefully draw a line on the map. The line started in Florence, near the Tennessee state line, then...

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AT Crushed: ‘Stringbean’ Sets Both Speed Records

Joe ‘Stringbean’ McConaughy, a well-known speed hiker, set a new record on the Appalachian Trail today. He hiked the 2,190-mile route in an unofficial fastest known time (FKT) of 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes. McConaughy’s hike began the trail on July 17th at 6:31 a.m. EST, in Georgia (South to North). If verified by community-recognized officials who manage FKTs (and it...

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Volunteers are Vital Component to Rainbow Falls Trail Rehabilitation Project

Earlier this summer, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials recruited for volunteers to assist the Trails Forever trail crew with a rehabilitation project on the Rainbow Falls Trail. Citizens from across the region responded and their volunteer effort has significantly helped in moving the project forward these past few months. In order to maintain the momentum,...

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The grim side of long-distance hiking

Thru-hiking conjures imagery of a retreat to Mother Nature, to return feeling fresh and invigorated. For trail neophytes, it’s romanticized with visions of rosy cheeked hikers bounding across grassy knolls and the scent of wild lavender wafting around lean, muscled figures. However, the reality is a little rougher than the Instagram pictures paint it. Sure, you’ll be in...

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Your 1 Million Acres: The Future of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Belongs to You

Your property includes cascading waterfalls, ancient forests, and the highest mountains in the East. You can go anywhere you like on your property. You can hike hundreds of miles of trails and paddle, fish, and swim in its pristine streams. You share ownership equally with every other American, and you pay your staff—the U.S. Forest Service—to manage the property. They...

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Trail work in Arizona’s Rim Country

Trails are complicated things. It doesn’t always take the easiest route and sometimes isn’t clear, dwindling into a wash and then sneaking out to the lowlands and zigzagging erratically up a steep slope. For trail builders, forging a path with flow is everything. The way a trail bobs and weaves around trees and rocks should be effortless. It should curve to hide what is...

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Celebrating the completion of Trekking Catalina

Catalina Island Conservancy is celebrating the recent completion of Trekking Catalina, a new master trails system that includes 27 miles of new and enhanced hiking trails and is the biggest addition to the Catalina trails system since the completion of the Trans-Catalina Trail in 2009. With the completion of Trekking Catalina, the Conservancy now offers 165 miles of...

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Lightning strike blasts clothes off Sierra hiker

An Austrian man hiking 9,000 feet up in the Sierra Nevada was on a peak taking a photo when he was struck by a lightning bolt that blasted away his clothes, burned a hole in one of his shoes and left him with severe burns. Mathias Steinhuber, who was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with his girlfriend and friend Carla Elvidge had an entry wound on his hand and an exit...

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